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Dartmouth Medicine Spring 2003

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

Inside the Spring 2003 issue of Dartmouth Medicine (to request a printed copy, call 603-653-0772 or e-mail dartmed@Dartmouth.edu), read about:

The increasing pressure on blood banks: Getting enough donated blood, and ensuring its safety, is a harder job than ever before. A member of the Dartmouth Medical School faculty is a national leader in the blood-banking field. See page 26.

Why more care is not better: A Dartmouth researcher has shown that in regions where more money is spent on services for Medicare patients, people do not receive care that's any better than in lower-spending regions--and in some ways they may even receive worse care. See page 3.

From doubt to acclaim in a decade: When a pair of Dartmouth geneticists first discovered a new class of tiny regulatory molecules over 10 years ago, other scientists were skeptical about the discovery's implications--and so were they. But what a difference a decade makes: their article on what are now called miRNAs was tapped as the top paper of 2002 in the prestigious journal Science. See page 6.

The benefits of bariatric surgery: It's expected that more than 100,000 gastric bypass procedures--also known as bariatric surgery--will be performed in the U.S. this year. Are the results worth it? Yes indeed, according to a recent Dartmouth study. See page 5.

What preteens see on the silver screen: Violent movies--including many that depict rape, sodomy, and cannibalism--are viewed by significant numbers of 5th- through 8th-graders nowadays. That was the surprising finding of a recent Dartmouth study. So what's a parent to do? The pediatrician who led the study has some practical advice. See page 8.

Comprehensive clerkships, courtesy of computers: It's hard for medical educators to be sure students get a truly comprehensive view of a specialty during a few weeks of clerkship. A pair of Dartmouth pediatricians are piloting a computer-based remedy that may have far-reaching uses. See page 9.

Heartening news for women: It used to be that women who underwent certain cardiac procedures fared worse than men. That's no longer so, according to a study by a Dartmouth cardiologist. See page 10.

Why chaos is good, not bad: A member of the Dartmouth faculty explains that chaos is an essential component of any biological system. He says that doctors are starting to realize the importance of understanding how chaos and complexity affect the healing process. See page 21.

An array of programs to improve end-of-life care: Saving lives is only part of the mission of medicine. Dartmouth-Hitchcock also takes seriously its responsibility to provide palliative care to dying patients, to support the families of such patients, to help students learn how extend compassionate end-of-life care, and to conduct research to improve the way such care is delivered. See page 50.

If you'd like to pursue any of these stories, you can contact:

  • Hali Wickner, communications director for Dartmouth Medical School, at 603/650-1520.
  • Deborah Kimbell, media relations manager for DHMC, at 603/653-1913.

Or feel free to give me a call; my direct line is 603/650-4058.

Dana Cook Grossman
Editor

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College